Our aim is to make the people of Cheshire and Warrington sit up and take notice of what is happening right on their doorstep.
We connect the people who want to give back with the most effective grass-roots charities and not-for-profit organisations, directly helping those most in need, whilst enabling our donors to feel proud that they’ve made a real difference.
We recently commissioned a research report providing an assessment of need throughout Cheshire, analysing significant social and economic trends to reveal how our communities are faring in key quality-of-life areas. Click here to download our research report.
The purpose of the report:
- To help us advise on the priority areas of need
- To enable us to focus our fundraising efforts on the geographic and thematic areas which require the most help
- To help us prioritise projects where funding is limited
There are more than 4,000 charities in Cheshire and Warrington
The results of our research report show that inequality, discrimination, disability, illness, distress, abuse, neglect and mental health issues are eroding the life chances of people living in our most deprived communities.
As such, we have identified our chief priorities as being:
- To improve mental health and wellbeing
- To tackle poverty and disadvantage
- To develop education, skills and employment
- To build stronger communities across Cheshire
Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Support people to cope with, control and manage mental health issues and prevent them becoming more serious by encouraging early intervention.
- Support people with mental health issues, long-term illness or disability to build confidence, develop their skills and gain relevant work experience, making it easier for them to secure and remain in employment.
- Support people with alcohol and drug related issues to find effective treatments and raise awareness of the risks associated with drug, alcohol and substance abuse.
- Promote the benefits of healthy living and eating, and encourage positive lifestyle changes in young people and adults, helping to counter obesity, preventable diseases and mental illness.
- Provide older people with opportunities to access and participate in their local community to prevent isolation.
Public Health England report that in a typical class of thirty 15 year-olds:
• 3 have a clinically diagnosable mental illness
• 10 have witnessed their parents separate
• 1 has experienced the death of a parent
• 7 have been bullied
• 6 are self-harming
Poverty and Disadvantage
- Provide emergency help to those living in deprivation through access to emergency food, home supplies, practical advice and support.
- Provide opportunities for the most disadvantaged to develop their skills, confidence and abilities to live independently and to participate in their community.
- Reduce isolation and improve access to services by supporting projects which remove perceived and physical barriers to participation.
- Narrow the gap which exists between the economic prospects and the health and wellbeing of affluent and poor families and vulnerable groups.
In Cheshire West and Chester and Warrington, 15 out of every 100 children live in low income families, where the household income is 60% or less than the average British household income
- Create more resilient communities in the long term by working to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and by reducing re-offending.
- Provide temporary accommodation, advice and practical help to people escaping domestic abuse.
- Bring together diverse communities and cultures, as well as groups who share the same needs to promote and improve social cohesion.
- Reduce the fear of crime and raise awareness of the risks and prevention of cybercrime, particularly to marginalised, isolated communities.
- Ensure that there are a range of activities and opportunities for older people to remain active and enjoy social interaction.
Education, Skills and Employment
- Help young people to obtain entry level qualifications and gain work experience to help them secure their first job opportunity
- Focus on developing the basic skills which lead to employment, including IT skills, interview and personal presentation skills, time management, people skills and confidence building
- Focus on giving children in disadvantaged communities increased opportunities to develop a passion for learning and to increase their skills by taking part in ex-curricula activities
- Encourage young people to develop life skills which will improve their chances of gaining employment later in life
- Narrow the gap in employment between those with a learning disability and the overall employment rate
Our key priority for 2018: Mental Health
Our research report identified that mental health among the young and old within our communities is the area which requires the most urgent support, but which conversely, is suffering from a severe lack of funding.
It’s an area that is often misunderstood; where conditions are hard to identify and sufferers are confused and reluctant to seek help. It’s also an area that can have widespread repercussions, which go way beyond the individual. Although mental health issues are very personal, the quality of everyone’s mental health affects every aspect of the life of our communities. Early intervention is critical, particularly in young people, as if not dealt with early on, mental health problems can escalate into more serious issues.
When it comes to mental health, our priorities include:
- Early intervention
- Coping mechanisms
- Preventable services
Our fundraising priorities – and how you can help
In 2021 we will be celebrating Cheshire Community Foundation’s 10th birthday, and to ensure that our first 10 years of grant giving makes the biggest difference to the most vulnerable people in our community, we are aiming high. Over the course of the next five years we are committed to raising an additional £10 million in new funds.
In 2017 we launched our Mental Health Fund and from 2017-2019 we will raise and direct £500,000 of funds towards building the capacity of the voluntary sector and improving the signposting of services. This will ensure that people’s mental health problems are resolved quickly, long-term poor outcomes are prevented, and the most disadvantaged are able to achieve their full potential.
“We are grateful to so many who have supported us. Now we urgently need to build sustainable funds for Cheshire communities in the future if we are to support the growing number of projects for the people who need our help right now.”